On fearing Immigrants

I’ve been on a (perhaps unnecessary) rampage of watching hardcore right wing conservatives sharing stats of immigrants flooding their home countries. From Milo Yiannopoulos to Ann Coulter and the increasing popularity of Donald Trump, seems they won’t hold their tongues and thoughts to bombard us with their multiple concerns on how foreigners are a threat to the safety and peace of their precious first world.

You want to be safe, I get it. It is not your fault that developing countries or third world countries are suffering an economical, military or ideological crisis. You do not want them disturbing the peace and beauty of the awesome free country in which you were born, I think I get it.

But the problem with that posture, one I believe you should consider, is that people under horrible circumstances didn’t choose to be on them. That was just a random turn of the dice that shaped their whole existence.

If they had been born in your situation, they wouldn’t have to leave their homes, they would stay with their families, study and make a career for themselves in their own country just as you did. And if you were born in their situation, you wouldn’t have that many choices, and it would be easy for you to consider walking whatever steps are necessary to protect your life, to look for money in a place where there actually is money, and save your family from poverty.

And you need to choose whether you feel any empathy for them and their situation or not. And if you find yourself lacking empathy for them, you may want to ask yourself whether your life and your own well-being and peace of mind is worth more than theirs. Ask yourself if their human rights are as valuable as yours.

Yes, having immigrants is a pain in the ass, they come here, they want jobs, they want a place to live, they take up all your space, and they may not come from a very progressive culture as yours. Yes, cultural shock could unbalance any place. But don’t we want to discuss, then, how we can prevent that people find themselves in a situation that demands them to flee from home to save their lives? Have you considered the slight possibility that the economic structure that the first world government has built up is taking on the exact same people you now hate? And can we change it so that everyone gets a fair sized slice of the cake? Why aren’t we inclining towards that side of the discussion? Because asking someone to stay still in a city where there are daily bombings and literally dozens of people are killed every day wouldn’t sound very appealing to me.

Money, why

I’m in the process of getting my resident permit for the Netherlands. It takes up to five weeks of waiting for them to decide whether I am dangerous or not for their country.

I am, in the meantime, trying to come up with new ways to make money. My situation is a little bit complicated because before knowing I had a partial scholarship, the numbers weren’t giving so I just assumed I would have to keep working for another year before leaving. After the scholarship, things changed. I made the choice to go with what I have and my budget is tight. Tight as my jeans after eating an entire Texas-size rack of baby back ribs. Funny I mention my favorite dish because, of course, I won’t be having it for a long, long time. Good bye pork-meat heaven. What food’s cheap in the Netherlands, anyway? Sometimes going from not-saving-a-penny to trying to save even the number of breaths I take feels like mom was right, and I should’ve thought twice before deciding to quit a very well-paid job.

I’m trying to get additional scholarships from Mexico but my Master program doesn’t fall into any scholarship category. Apparently, I’m the only person in the entire country who thinks studying philosophy in the 21st century is important. So nobody wants to fund my studies. Well, sorry folks, somebody’s gonna have to join me in the game. I will not rest until one of you accepts to help me.

Mom says “there are other priorities for the country right now”. And though I may not target my studies for productivity or profit around here, we do need to have some critical thinking going on in this place.

An idea

When I was fourteen, I wanted to study philosophy, write books and be a teacher. But I was told, “Anyone can be a teacher, you should study something that you like and then teach about it”. So then at fifteen, I wanted to study cinematography. That idea didn’t stick for long, I thought Industrial Design would be a more down-to-earth decision. Since I was a lot into programming and fixing stuff in my computer, I finally considered engineering at sixteen. So there I was on the day to enroll to university, at the engineering faculty, making a line. And I thought “I’m getting out of here, I should be on the visual arts faculty line”. I made a call to a not-very-bright-guy who was my best friend then, and asked him “what should I do?” He told me, “you’re already in the engineering line, just stay there”. And so I did that.

BUT THE POINT IS: I had no idea I was setting the path for the rest of my life, could someone please just give me a break?

And now after 8 years of successfully making my way through engineering school and engineering jobs, I’m quitting. I’m quitting my 9 to 5 and getting a master in Philosophy. I want to write books, and be a teacher. And I won’t resent the fact that nobody ever told me at fourteen “Hey kid, If that’s what you want to do, then do just that”. I won’t resent it because I have to start taking responsibility for the decisions I take in my life and face the outcome of all those choices. (Mr. Nobody, anyone?)  I will, however, in time, let my fourteen-year-old kids know they can do just that thing that’s itching their curiosity.

And so the real purpose of this blog (though I’m a little bit ashamed to accept it) is for it to be my loyal companion on this venturous (stupid, rather) journey. Let my sad and scarce savings serve as my first step, and with a little help from the blessed Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences from the University of Twente who believed in me enough to give me a partial scholarship, off I go. Here we are, ground zero, square one, starting line. Where to next?